Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dupe Watch: Professional Fraud Exposer Benjamin Radford Himself Gets Seriously Duped

Posted by Peter Quennell

Despite vast, easily accessible evidence to contrary, Radford regurgitates proven Knox lies

1. Who Is Benjamin Radford?

Benjamin Radford is the deputy editor of the popular Skeptical Inquirer which has very active Twitter and Facebook presences.

In normal cool-minded mode, he is an effective and useful exposer of hoaxers and dupes and a good entertainer. He himself has seemed fairly impervious to hoaxes. From his website here are his career highlights.

Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and a Research Fellow with the non-profit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has written over a thousand articles on a wide variety of topics, including urban legends, the paranormal, critical thinking, and media literacy.

He is author of six books [including]: Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking; and Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us; and The Martians Have Landed! A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes…

Just our kind of guy, right? In this case, so badly needed. Such a huge opportunity for him. And yet…

2. Radford Swallows The Interrogation Hoax

A dozen deliberate PR-inspired hoaxes (there are also others) to the advantage of Knox and Sollecito are taken apart on TJMk under this right-column heading.

Radford would seem to have very fertile territory there. But instead, Radford himself becomes the latest dupe of the Knox Interogation Hoax.

Instead of actually doing any checking, Radford simply quotes one of Knox’s numerous dishonest and easily disprovable accounts which have already cost her three years in prison and the prospect of more court action ahead for her.

This false statement appeared yesterday in an article by Radford on the Discovery Channel website titled NYC Murder Trial: The Problem With Confessions

The Amanda Knox Confession

False confessions can, of course, have serious consequences for the person who wrongly confesses, but can also pose a real threat to innocent people. That’s what happened in the case of Amanda Knox, the American woman arrested for the 2007 murder of student Meredith Kercher in Italy.

After an extended interrogation Knox confessed to police that she was there during the time of the murder. She implicated not only herself but also Patrick Lumumba, the owner of a bar she worked at, saying she was present when Lumumba murdered Kercher and could hear her screams. Lumumba, however, was cleared weeks later when a university professor came forward to report that he was with Lumumba in his bar at the time of the murder.

Knox later claimed that her confession had been false and coerced: “In regards to this “˜confession’ that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion. Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly”¦. it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers.”

Based in part on that confession, Knox was found guilty in 2009 and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Appeals and retrials lasted years, and last month the Italian Supreme Court overturned the previous guilty verdicts, effectively ending the case.

Confessions don’t need to be beaten or tortured out of a person; sometimes they can come after hours of psychological pressure and exhaustion. When someone is put under sustained pressure, they may tell their interrogator whatever they want to hear to make it stop, whether truthful or not.

There was no “hours of psychological pressure and exhaustion”. Nor was there any confession - only a false accusation. In fact (see below) there was not even an interrogation.

And the Supreme Court did not overturn all previous guilty verdicts. That court had no power to overturn the guilty sentence and the three years Knox served for lying about the interrogation, and for falsely blaming Lumumba.

3. Hard Realities Of The Interrogation Hoax

Based on numerous court transcripts (see Part 4 below) this is a TRUTHFUL account of what happened at Perugia’s central police station on 5-6 November 2007.

This sequence led into her arrest and eventually to her three years in prison for calunnia, a sentence confirmed by the Supreme Court - a well-known fact which the avid researcher Benjamin Radford appears to have ignored, misunderstood, or been unaware of.

Prior to the night of 5 November Knox, Sollecito and many others had sat voluntarily with police officers to help them to build a complete picture. None were suspects and none were put through interrogation.

Knox’s claimed hours associated with this questioning included a lot of time spent waiting around - in Knox’s and Sollecito’s cases the hours mounted because they were conspicuoslu eager to be there. 

Senior Inspector Rita Ficarra testified that she arrived back at the police station late on 5 November, and finds her way blocked by a cartwheeling Knox.

She rebukes Knox, who testily responds that she is tired of the investigation. Rita Ficarra tells Knox to go home and get some sleep. Knox refuses.

Shortly after, Ficarra suggests to Knox that if she really wants to help, she could add to the list of possible perps - men who Meredith knew and who might have visited the house.

As the defenses acknowledge during their cross-examinations of key investigators present on the night, this was merely a recap/summary, a simple checking of facts with someone who might be helpful which could have been done on a street corner. It was not a witness or suspect interrogation.

Knox eagerly agrees. So they begin on the list.

This goes slowly because of language problems, until an interpreter, Anna Donnino, arrives. In total Knox and four others (three of them women) are present. Knox builds a list of seven people and adds maps and phone numbers (in evidence) in a calm proceeding. These were the names: Peter Svizzero, Patrick, Ardak, Juve, Spiros, Shaki and “a South African [Guede]” who played basketball near the house.

At several points in the evening Knox is provided with refreshments. No voices are ever raised, no bathroom breaks are refused. A number of efforts are made to help Knox to keep calm.

Inspector Napoleoni and a couple of colleagues are seeking facts from Sollecito in a separate wing. Shown conflicts between what he has said and what his phone records show, Sollecito backtracks and declares that Knox made him lie. Knox is gently asked about this, and nobody reports any reaction. Knox defense lawyers in cross examination do not go there at all.

Suddenly, to the considerable surprise of all present, Knox has a yelling, head-clutching conniption (the first of several that night) when they observe a text she had denied sending, saying she would see that person later. Knox explains that it was Patrick, along with a torrent of accusations.

Warned she should not do so without a lawyer, Knox insists on a recorded statement which says she headed out to meet Patrick that night after he texted and she accuses Patrick of killing Meredith.

Knox is put on hold, given more refreshments, and made comfortable on some chairs so she might try to get some sleep.

A second session ending at 5:45 is intended as merely a reading of Knox’s legal rights, with Dr Mignini presiding. No questions are asked.

Having just been warned she should not do so without a lawyer present, Knox insists on a second recorded statement which also says she went out to meet Patrick that night and also accuses Patrick of killing Meredith.

Just before noon, now under arrest and about to be taken to Capanne Prison, a third statement this time in English, and seemingly gleefully hands it to Rita Ficcara. She yet again accuses Patrick but also ponts some suspicion toward Sollecito.

Knox’s lawyers never substantially challenge this version, leave standing that she insisted on all three statements, and they dont pursue any claims that she was pressed.

In July Knox herself tried to challenge the scenario but was disbelieved and for the calunnia framing of Patrick Lumumba Judge Massei sentenced her to a year more than Sollecito, later amended by Judge Hellmann to three years served.

4. Trial Transcripts And Other Evidence Against Knox

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #1: Overview Of The Series - The Two Version of the 5-6 Nov 2007 Events

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #2: Trial Testimony From Rita Ficcara On Realities 5-6 Nov

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #3: More Defense Pussyfooting Toward Rita Ficcara, Key Witness

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #4: More Hard Realities Fron Rita Ficcara, More Nervousness From Defense

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #5: Key Witness Monica Napoleoni Confirms Knox Self-Imploded 5-6 Nov

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #6: Sollecito Transcript & Actions Further Damage Knox Version

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #7: Testimony Of Witness Lorena Zugarini On The Knox Conniption 5-6 Nov

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #8: Testimony Of Interpreter Anna Donnino On Events Night Of 5 November

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #9: Officer Moscatelli’s Recap/Summary Session With Sollecito 5-6 Nov

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #10: Challenge To Readers: Spot The Two Landmines For Lawyers & Knox

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #11: Why Prosecution And Defenses Never Believed Knox’s Version

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #12: Proof Released That In 5-6 Nov Session Knox Worked On Names List

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #13: The First Two Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #14: The Third Pre-Trial Opportunitty Which Knox Flunked

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #15: Dr Mignini’s Knowledge Of Knox “Interrogation” Explained To Media

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #16: The Fourth Pre-Trial Opportunity Which Knox Flunked

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #17: Sollecito April 2008 Before Supreme Court Again Coldsholders Knox

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/15/15 at 01:37 PM in News media & moviesHoaxes Knox & team16 Interrogation hoax

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I have a very humble question: why her high profile lawyers did not raise this issue in the court of law? Why she is playing the victim in the public eye?

The Italian justice moves with glacial speed. The matter should have been closed aeons ago.

That is called defendant-friendly.

Posted by chami on 04/15/15 at 06:57 PM | #

No no no Chami!

The slowness is not of the courts!! Dont blame Italy!!  The slowness is of Knox herself learning.

Knox got final conviction by Cassation in March 2013 and has already served the three years. And yet for incessantly repeating the same claims in her book and on TV (and in Oggi) she faces a new trial in June.

As a repeat offense that could cost her SIX years. Her parents also face trial.

As some of the past posts explain (please do read them) her lawyers always had a hard time shutting up Knox, and its pretty clear none of them ever believed her.

The past posts represent lengthy reading because they include many trial transcripts specially translated, but they are absolutely remorseless.

If Benjamin Radford sets about reading them, he will find he has no way out - he was a sucker for a discredited story, and if he sticks to his own principles he will admit so.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/15/15 at 07:57 PM | #

Benjamin Radford has plenty of company in the Dupes Department he might not much appreciate if he looks into them.

All could be charged on the exact same basis as Knox’s parents.

The “ex FBI profilers” John Douglas, Jim Clemente and Mark Olshaker turned Knox’s small pile of lies into a veritable mountain. 

Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, Michael Heavey, and many other came out with versions more shrill than Knox of what “transpired”, Steve Moore especially.

And psychologist Saul Kassin (who has become invisible perhaps because Knox in her book quoted him!) presented them at a GLOBAL conference in New York on law enforcement.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/15/15 at 08:24 PM | #

Still only one reader comment under Benjamin Radford’s article on the Discovery site!

What can be going on there? We know other comments were submitted.

Might anyone here get to work and test that? Make sure they know there is legal liability as Radford is categorically accusing police of crimes.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/15/15 at 08:29 PM | #

It sounds like this guy was lazy in his research and may not want to do what is required. If he has journalistic integrity he will look into the matter and at least correct the basic facts of the account. This may not be fair but AK especially looks haggard these days and is not the cute young lady she once was. Even RS has aged quickly. But then again, what price are you willing to pay for a guilty conscience?

Posted by Vinnie on 04/15/15 at 10:54 PM | #

Radford sounds very much like those who used to post (maybe still do) on the International Skeptics Forum.

They considered AK innocent, “a girl like that couldn’t possibly have committed such a crime” etc., and confirmation bias inevitably led them to ignore or misinterpret all evidence to the contrary. And in Radford’s case, it led him to take AK’s word that she was “tortured” in some way.

Actually self-proclaimed skeptics want to be rational but they often don’t behave rationally at all. Radford for example at the outset likely made the irrational, unconscious decision that AK was too nice to have been involved in murder.

It’s noteworthy also that the precursor of the International Skeptics Forum was The James Randi Educational Foundation. Founder Randi was an ex- stage magician (and fruit loop) who all of a sudden wanted to appear to be the supreme rationalist. The magician part must have had a nervous breakdown, poor chap 😊

All is vanity.

Posted by Odysseus on 04/15/15 at 11:34 PM | #

Hi Vinnie

Interesting. I suggest her guilty unrequited conscience was not entirely of her own making though. She jumped, but also she pushed hard.

Hoax Post #15 above leads through to Knox’s interview with Dr Mignini on 17 December 2007, which went on for nearly half a day. This was her idea. She took the risk. At the end Knox pretty well concedes that she has failed.

There were no other forceful attempts to pursue the grand interrogation lie right through to mid trial in mid 2009 when she again took the risk to face interrogation (highly limited though it was by Judge Massei and her lawyers). At the end the court and all watching Italy could see that she had again failed.

Thereafter she settled down in Capanne and seemingly put this behind her and she got no traction on it at the Hellmann appeal - in fact he extended her sentence.

But once out and back in Seattle, she got going again pushed hard by the serial fabricators and those connected to her book deal for which it was the flagship marketing enticement.

The entire chapter in the book on the “interrogation” is fiction but none more-so than this claim, presumably put there by supporters and writers thinking they were doing her a huge favor:

Roll on 9 June and in Florence we will witness the start of her trial for that. She sure has attracted her share of frenemies, most of them sight unseen before she left prison.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/16/15 at 01:53 AM | #

Hi Odysseus

That is pretty funny. In effect Benjamin Radford might have thought he was nailing a huge conspiracy in Italy, never realising that the real conspiracy was being propagated on this (west) side of the Atlantic?

Can anyone spot how far back he goes? On those forums he may have posted under other names.  Some of his exposures at least have shown that government was NOT running illegal grand schemes and for that I respect him.

To my knowledge James Randi never came down on the side of the Knox conspiracists, and pushed away that crazy forum. He and Benjamin Radford might have been useful additions to our cause here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/16/15 at 02:05 AM | #

I’ve just been on the Discovery site and submitted a comment. It certainly appeared ok but will be interesting to see if it subsequently disappears.

“All very interesting Mr Radford except there was no sustained interrogation of Ms Knox. That’s a…”

David Mulhern

Posted by davidmulhern on 04/16/15 at 02:13 AM | #

Terrific David. I added the link there.

Actually there are two things to watch for. Whether it stays up, and whether anyone tries to refute it. Especially Benjamin Radford.

Since we began the long-form series here (which was a big effort of posters and translators) not a single attempt to refute it has appeared anywhere.

Big silence.

As Knox is headed for court on this and a possible 6 year sentence, that is certainly the smart move, except for someone who wants to join her.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/16/15 at 02:29 AM | #

Peter, you mentioned Hellmann increasing Knox’s calunnia sentence.

The stunning thing is his logic: that it was not to divert attention, but due to duress, yet he RAISED it from 1 year to 3.  Really?  You think an accused perp did something out of stress and duress, wouldn’t you cut her a break?

My own thought is that he was ‘‘throwing a bone’’ to the Kerchers and the prosecutors.  Perhaps they wouldn’t appeal if he gave Knox something.

It was also stunning that while confirming her calunnia, Hellmann let Knox go, while she had a second one pending.  This was for falsely accusing the police of assault.  Hellmann had to have known about it.

An open question: even if Knox were convicted (presumably in absentia), would she ever be forced back?  Can imagine it would be delayed for years quite easily.

Posted by Chimera on 04/16/15 at 04:33 AM | #


I doubt Randi would have been a useful addition to our cause. He’s a proven liar and charlatan. He attempted to debunk the work of the esteemed and highly qualified (eat your heart out Randi) British biologist Rupert Sheldrake, but was caught out in his fabrication. An inveterate self-publicist, he has clearly never lost his early addiction to life on the stage. [This is behind a paywall but can be viewed in Chrome incognito mode].

Posted by Odysseus on 04/16/15 at 08:33 AM | #

Hi Odysseus

Thanks! Great point. I take all these guys (of which there are others too on US cable TV) to be entertainers above all with some mild usefulness in putting myths, mostly harmless, to bed.

But serious science is under siege too and really should be hands-off. Slow growth in the US is in part an outcome of not enough scientists and engineers.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/16/15 at 01:37 PM | #

On the notorious Saul Kassin, formerly a psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC, a kind of Benjamin Radford on steroids who paved the way for so many others.

Cardiol observed behind the scenes that the several posts I had linked to (now among those below) were not all of the TJMK posting arc - and that we seem to have faced him and possibly Knox down in this “false confessions” war.

These were the posts I had linked to above now moved here which explain how it began.

These below were other posts that should have been included to complete the arc. Cardiol really examined what Kassin did in the context of peer review and academic objectiveness.

It was shortly after this last post that Kassin was detached from John Jay College - did he leap, or was he pushed?

When last sighted, Kassin was on the psychology faculty of a small college in western Massachusetts, his days of conspiracy theories about police seemingly done.

Knox was seemingly banking on using Kassin in the Florence trials on the Interrogation Hoax coming up and (if it is not DOA) the ECHR Strasbourg appeal.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/16/15 at 01:53 PM | #

“QA In fact at around 10:30 she went out and I went back to sleep. When she went out that morning to go to her house, Amanda also took an empty bag telling me she needed it for dirty clothes.”

In Sollicetos statement of the 6th Nov. has anyone ever been asked to explain why Amanda needed an empty bag for dirty clothes? Where did she put this bag as she didn’t return to Sollicetos with it! Could this be an excuse for Amanda possibly being seen carrying a bag which could have been used to dump dirty clothes on that morning?

Looking at the crime scene videos I don’t see anywhere where this bag was left in her room, maybe someone could clarify some information on this!

Posted by Stan on 04/16/15 at 02:03 PM | #

Knox came out with ever-escalating versions of the “interrogation” even after serving a three year prison term.

Compare Knox’s 17 Dec 2007 interview with Mignini (which she demanded), Knox on the witness stand mid 2009, Knox in her book early 2013, and Knox in her email to Judge Nencini late 2013 (see below).

These claims will all be confronting Knox at her new calunnia trial, starting in June, about which the Florence prosecution is now as intent as ever to move forward.

Passages in bold in this version in the December 2013 email to Judge Nencini are all especially dishonest. Torture? Hours and hours? Yelled at and threatened? The police fingered Lumumba?

Read the summary of the night’s events in the main post above, not one of those things ever happened.

Knox merely turned up unwanted, complained of being tired, was told to go home, and was finally occupied only in building a list of possible suspects other than herself.

It looks like very poor judgement by Knox’s lawyers (malpractice even?) in handing this dishonest email over to Judge Nencini for the record after years of (unfruitfully) trying to shut her up and shield her.

[All Knox’s phrases in bold were proven untruthful - see the notes at bottom]]

11. Upon entering the questura [uninvited] I had no understanding of my legal position. Twenty years old and alone in a foreign country,

I was innocent and never expected to be suspected and subjugated to torture.

I was interrogated as a suspect, but told I was a witness.

I was questioned for a prolonged period in the middle of the night and in Italian, a language I barely knew.

I was denied legal counsel

The Court of Cassation deemed the interrogation and the statements produced from it illegal.

I was lied to, yelled at, threatened, slapped twice on the back of the head.

I was told I had witnessed the murder and was suffering from amnesia.

I was told that if I didn’t succeed in remembering what happened to Meredith that night I would never see my family again.

I was browbeaten into confusion and despair. When you berate, intimidate, lie to, threaten, confuse, and coerce someone in believing they are wrong, you are not going to find the truth.

12. The police coerced me into signing a false “confession” that was without sense and should never have been considered a legitimate investigative lead.

In this fragmentary and confused statement the police identified Patrick Lumumba as the murderer because we had exchanged text messages, the meaning of which the police wrongfully interpreted (‘Civediamo piu tardi. Buona serata’).

The statement lacked a clear sequence of events, corroboration with any physical evidence, and fundamental information like: how and why the murder took place, if anyone else was present or involved, what happened afterward

—it supplied partial, contradictory information and as the investigators would discover a little later, when Patrick Lumumba’s defense lawyer produced proof of him incontestable alibi, it was obviously inaccurate and unreliable.

I simply didn’t know what they were demanding me to know. After over 50 hours of questioning over four days, I was mentally exhausted and I was confused.

13. This coerced and illegitimate statement was used by the police to arrest and detain a clearly innocent man with an iron-clad alibi with whom I had a friendly professional relationship. This coerced and illegitimate statement was used to convict me of slander.

The prosecution and civil parties would have you believe that this coerced and illegitimate statement is proof of my involvement in the murder. They are accusing and blaming me, a result of their own overreaching.

It is legally suicidal (as Knox is finding out) to repeat a calunnia in inflammatory terms for which

(1) no hard facts support her and the list of suspects she built on the night with notes and maps has gone public;

(2) days and days of testimony and cross examination in early 2009 that Knox sat through at trial prove the very opposite of all this.

(3) her stint on the stand in mid 2009 had her tied in knots and nobody believing her.

(4) Hellmann (yes Hellmann) sentencing her to three years in 2011

(5) and Cassation finally ruling in 2013 that Knox rightly served those three years,

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/16/15 at 02:14 PM | #

Hi Stan

Great catch. That attention RS deliberately drew to the missing bag was in a recent translation, and a classic example of how an angry Sollecito dropped Knox in it so many times.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/16/15 at 02:19 PM | #

James Raper did a fine post preceding our Interrogation Hoax series on how this hoax is the false bedrock for Knox’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

If the gatekeepers at the ECHR who Ergon periodically checks with read the equivalent of these TJMK posts her appeal really will be DOA.

Welcome to the OJ Simpson phase of Knox’s life.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/16/15 at 02:25 PM | #

The bag never struck me as particularly odd.  I guess it’s because I don’t go anywhere for the night without packing a weekender, and my weekender has a little laundry bag.  If I somehow forgot my laundry bag, I’d use a regular bag for my dirty laundry, since I wouldn’t want it touching my clean clothes or shower case.

But now that I think about it, I’m not sure what dirty clothes she was taking home to wash. Maybe she had some from previous days, although it’s a bit unusual to leave laundry at the house of a person you’ve known for a week.  It’s pretty clear she hadn’t packed an overnight bag for that particular night because she headed home to shower and change.

What happened to the bag is a good question.  If she didn’t unpack it, there should have been a bag of laundry.  If she did unpack it, either to do laundry or transfer the dirty clothes to a hamper, the bag should have been somewhere around the room or in the trash.

I’m guessing that maybe the bag contained clothes worn during the night, which couldn’t be dumped immediately to avoid discovery.  Dumping them right before garbage pick up would make a lot more sense, and would also explain why that bag never made it to the cottage.

Posted by Vivianna on 04/16/15 at 05:02 PM | #

Or to quote Frank Zappa

“Thanks to our schools and political leaders the US has an international reputation as the home of 250 million people dumb enough to buy the Wacky Wall Walker,”

He went on to say.

“People who think that music videos are an art form are probably the same people who think that Cabbage Patch Dolls are a revolutionary form of soft sculpture.”

Then there are those who without any information at all, except the propaganda they have been force fed by the media, think that Amanda Knox is innocent. That’s because of how she is presented to the general public of course, that being victim. But then there are those who still believe that Jodi Arias is innocent underscoring the fact that perhaps Frank Zappa was right.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 04/16/15 at 09:39 PM | #

I had not given the ‘empty bag’ much thought until I re-read the transcript of RS statement.

The clothes Amanda changed out of were on her bed, so it wasn’t used for those. There doesn’t appear to be a bag anywhere else in her room and surely there would be bags available somewhere in the cottage! The only thing I would imagine it could be used for, is collecting her own laundry until such a time that she used the cottage washing machine.

Its just one of those things that should be insignificant but yet is one of those things that had significance to RS and appears to have vanished. I’ll keep digging through the crime scene videos.

Posted by Stan on 04/16/15 at 11:19 PM | #

Hi again DavidMulhearn

Your excellent comment under Radford’s article on the Discovery site seems to have started something.

In response to your comment Botticelli’s Niece posted this one.

If you look st Radford’s bio, he claims to be an investigator. It seems he didn’t do much research for this article. I noticed also that comments have been removed from the site. It seems another hack journalist has been exposed.

Several commenters who attempt to support Knox such as a “Lyn Duncan” go way off-subject to try to confirm Radford’s wrong claim.

All the cops were lying? Really? So why didnt TWO defense teams surface that in cross examination that went on for days? (Though admittedly that cross-examination was half-hearted, Knox was universally disbelieved.)

And why did Knox serve three years in Capanne Prison for this and is now a convicted felon for life? A verdict and sentence left unadjusted even by Hellmann and Cassation’s Fifth Chambers? 

The bedrock situation is that Knox dug herself a big hole at trial, she served three years for it, and then (astoundingly) she set about digging herself in deeper. For which on 9 June she will again be on trial.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/17/15 at 01:12 PM | #

By the way one of those pro-Knox commenters on the Radford thread repeats the endemic myth that Knox’s “interrogation” session was not recorded.

But it WAS recorded.

1) It was recorded by Knox herself in her notebook, in which she entered names, addresses, maps and other personal details of those she fingered. She then tore out the pages and handed them to Rita Ficarra. They are in evidence.

2) And the following evening Rita Ficarra wrote up this report of the session, also in evidence, which was extremely chilling to the defenses. .

3) Yet another record, Knox’s memo at 1:45 am (never ruled “illegal” and used at trial), was her own idea - she insisted upon it - and doing that occupied maybe half an hour.

In it she quite voluntarily fingers Patrick Lumumba (who police had never heard of) as she does again later - and says clearly that she headed out ALONE to see him after he told her there would be no work.

Gee thanks Knox… Sollecito sure used that loophole.

If anything, from Knox’s point of view, the informal session with Rita Ficarra was OVER recorded. Those records box her in totally, and have her facing a possible six more years for calunnia #2.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/17/15 at 02:26 PM | #

Another wrong point being made by the Knox bizarros on the Radford/Discovery thread is that when Cassation publishes its report, it is all over.

First it is being openly said in the justice profession in Italy that the Fifth Chambers may have ruled ILLEGALLY.

They already invoked Article 530.2 to declare Knox and RS not guilty which is ONLY for lower courts (Massei and Nencini) to invoke. They had no legal right to.

There are other legal problems as well. And there are at least two different ways in which the Fifth Chamber ruling could be rolled back.

Second Knox and Sollecito face now SEPARATE trials for the first time.  Given how they tried to drop one another in it dozens of times when they were on trial together, we are now likely to see some REAL fireworks. 

The Knox people would be well advised to read more here, as we channel only hard truths from Italy. Not their recycled mumbo-jumbo. Especially given these parlous situations:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/17/15 at 03:53 PM | #

For Chimera: I’m more cynical about why Hellmann upped the callunnia (against Lumumba) sentence to three years. He was simply hoping to save the Italian state money: she’d been in prison for four years, and so by making three of these years ‘legitimate detention’ she’d only be able to ask for ‘compensation’ for approximately one year.

This neat little dodge seems to have escaped her supporters who are currently encouraging her to ‘sue the ass off’ Italy.

Posted by Sallyoo on 04/17/15 at 09:14 PM | #

Chimera & Sallyoo - I think you’re both right about Hellmann.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 04/18/15 at 12:45 AM | #

Thank you Cardiol.

Sallyoo - I actually hope Knox does try to ‘‘sue the ass off Italy’‘.  The defendant(s) could really, I mean REALLY, unload and she would have no protections.

No protections as in the evidence and the facts that never came out publicly would now be fair game.

No protection as in Knox would have to ‘‘fully’’ testify, not like with the Massei trial court when it was severely restricted.

No protections as in no ‘‘spontaneous statements’’ which cannot be challenged.

No protections as in no relief or holding back from the many people she slimed.

About your theory Hellmann upped the sentence to raise the ‘‘legitimate’’ time, you may be right, and it makes a good deal of sense.  In common law systems, if a defendant released on bail is convicted only of a minor crime, the tendency is to give probation or something light. However the same defendant remanded into custody until trial would likely just get ‘‘time served’‘.  Yes, it seems a bit like ‘cover your ass’.

This should be interesting for the upcoming motivations report.

(1) Knox has a prior calunnia, making false accusations.

(2) Knox is facing a 2nd calunnia, for accusing police, presumably to derail the investigation.

(3) Sollecito is facing his own calunnia for the book he claims he never wrote.

(4) Guede now wants his trial reopened.

(5) 2008 Cassation refuses house arrest for AK and RS, citing strong evidence, and danger to society.

(6) 2010 Cassation confirms Guede is an accomplice and there were others. 

(7) 2013 Cassation rules Knox’s calunnia was to divert attention from herself, and should be considered evidence in the actual murder.

2013 Cassation also did a ‘‘hatchet job’’ on the 2011 Hellmann appeal, shredding the faulty and twisted logic he used to spring AK and RS.

So .... I have no idea how this Cassation panel will justify throwing out the case completely.  Pete adds the point of Article 530.2 being invoked (while not available for the top court).

Knox said after the verdict on March 27th she would love to return to Italy.  I bet if she ever faces imminent jail time again, she will revert to the ‘‘I will never willingly return’’ and pretend to cry again.

Posted by Chimera on 04/18/15 at 03:50 AM | #

I just found this. 

Could be a hoax, and the Christian Times isn’t exactly a great source.  In fact, they frequently get basic facts wrong in their reporting.

-The article misspells ‘‘Raffaele’’ as ‘‘Raffael’‘.

-The article refers to the Florence appeal (Knox and Sollecito’s own appeal) as a new trial.

-The article refer’s to the ‘‘new trial’’ as giving a ‘‘second guilty’’ verdict, rather than confirming the only trial verdict (Massei, 2009).

-The article omits that fact that Knox got 3 years for framing Lumumba, and that Hellmann, more or less, gave her ‘‘time served’’ on that.

-The article repeats the whole ‘‘sex game gone wrong’’ theory, which prosecutors never argued.

-The article is correct, that Guede’s 30 year term was reduced to 16 on appeal, but it doesn’t mention why: namely the ‘‘short-trial’’ deductions which piggybacked off the Knox/Sollecito trial.

-The article claimed that this is over for the two.  Perhaps the author never visited this site, or did any actual research.

-The article also doesn’t mention that Knox and Sollecito both have upcoming trials for their books.  Oops.

Again, could be a hoax, or could be another of their poorly written fluff pieces.

Posted by Chimera on 04/18/15 at 04:40 AM | #

Hi Sallyoo and Chimera

Yeah suits for damages would be highly fraught territory as Bongiorno already warned though Preston etc are happy to edge her on.

Italian media and Andrea Vogt have diligently reported what the 9 June opening of Knox’s new trial is about.


Regarding side shows, I note that there is a new development with a preliminary hearing court date now set for 9:30 a.m. March 20 to weigh whether there is enough evidence to request Amanda Knox stand for another trial, this time on continuous aggravated calumny charges, for her continued allegations of police abuse and coercion, both on the stand and outside of court, in her memoir and in public appearances.  Given that she already faces a Supreme Court hearing on March 25 in which a prison sentence of 28.5 years hangs in the balance, this new court date smacks of legal bullying, and in fact I expect it will be delayed and heard after the Court of Cassation’s decision. On the other hand, many reputations have been damaged in the long and painful course of this divisive and high profile case, and this may an effort by Perugia and Florence authorities to set the record straight about the serious allegations of having been mistreated in Italy, by asking all parties to bring evidence and sworn testimony to the table in order to establish a transparent legal record on the matter.  The preliminary hearing is set to be heard before Magistrate Anna Liguori in Florence.


In another legal blow for Knox, a Florence judge earlier this week ruled there was enough evidence to request Knox stand trial on separate charges of continuous aggravated calumny.  Though unreported by mainstream media, these additional charges have been simmering quietly in preliminary hearings for months until Friday, when “rinvio a giudizio” was granted and the first trial hearing date was set for June 9 in Florence. While Knox already has one definitive calumny conviction for accusing Congolese pub owner Patrick Lumumba, these latest charges stem from her continued allegations of police abuse and coercion, both on the stand and outside of court, in her memoir and in public appearances.

US reporting is more on the lines of the Christian Times (comment by Chimera just above) weeks behind and back to front - its getting worse in some US media (yes shades of hoax or satire) though theres much less reporting generally, and almost nothing on TV, everybody in scared deep hush till Cassation reports. It is almost like the defenses did not want to win THIS way.

Although in theory the 4 main defense lawyers checked what is in the books, and in practice handed over Knox’s defamatory email (see quote in comment above), Yummi says their lawyers privilege means they wont have to testify.

But they wont look good. RS and AK could blame them for bad advice. RS had to get another lawyer for his case.  Dalla Vedova got a Perugia judge to move the Knox case to Florence in the days when he thought they’d be pussycats.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/18/15 at 11:50 AM | #

Pete, AK and RS actually might blame them for the books.  These two never took responsibility for anything.  It will mean no lawyer will ever represent them again, but .... whatever.

Posted by Chimera on 04/19/15 at 02:51 AM | #

Hi Peter

Glad my comment on Radford’s thread has maybe helped provoke some kind of reaction at least. Any chink of light that can pierce the darkness of this terrible miscarriage of justice gives us all hope. Even faint hope beats having no hope at all.

I know the flotsam and jetsam of humanity who are in thrall to the murderess, credulous in their bovine stupidity, are still leaping up and down, enraged that people such as you dare to continue to care about Meredith. Good, I hope it continues to consume them.

Even if all of your sterling efforts and those of the other main contributors to this splendid site come to nought, I have no doubt whatsoever that Meredith’s family appreciate all that you and the guys have done, and all that you will yet do, on their behalf in seeking true justice for Meredith. For that reason alone, it has all been worthwhile. I truly believe that.

Yours has been a just and moral crusade, not yet over but ultimately stymied, thus far, by dark forces beyond the sphere of reason and justice.

More power to you Peter and others with your kind of drive. The world is a better place for having guys like you in it.

I haven’t been in New York since 2010 but I will gladly buy you a few beers next time I make it over. Hopefully in 2016.

Posted by davidmulhern on 04/19/15 at 03:19 AM | #

@Vivianna,  the fact that Sollecito highlighted Knox’s bag must mean that it is important, after all, he is fully aware what happened that night!  I suspect he saw her pack all of her bloodied clothes into a bag and that he either witnessed it being dumped or knows that Knox did so. I expect he’s kicked himself that he didn’t return and collect this bag!!

Posted by MHILL4 on 04/19/15 at 06:58 PM | #

MHILL4 - Would have been bitterly ironic if Sollecito had done just that.  Quite logical though: you can’t expect 2 accomplices to stay loyal to each other, when their game plan is framing the other accomplice.

Too bad he didn’t.  Probably would have shortened the trial process by years.

Posted by Chimera on 04/19/15 at 10:42 PM | #

Final day for this key post to stay up, thanks everybody for patience, if you Google Radford + Amanda Knox you may find the newly entwined pair as your top hit.

We are curious to see what Discovery do about it. Maybe Radford has been reading and will do a U-turn; we’ve had a few of those but would like to force a lot more of them.

Again, although there are other hoaxes, this hoax is the guts of all action to wind Knox’s false claims back. Its maybe unique in Italian legal history because she repeated the precise same claims she served three years for.

She got zero relief for this from the 2013 and 2015 Supreme Court rulings. She used them as an excuse to not pay Patrick and as a basis to appeal on false grounds to the ECHR in Strasbourg.

They are repeated in books by the dozen and articles by the hundred and she also made the claims on TV and in the 2013 email to Judge Nencini.

It will be very very risky for her usual gang to support her without ending up in the soup with her on the same lines as Gumbel with Sollecito.

if Knox is going to have an OJ Simpson moment this will likely be the cause of it. She could find many civil suits following hard on the heels of any guilty verdict. Karma plays out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/20/15 at 01:54 PM | #

No worries Knox thankfully is her own worst enemy. There is no escape either. I can see her becoming the reviled women afrer Casey Anthony when the truth finally comes out.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 04/20/15 at 11:50 PM | #


Who then would represent Knox at her new calunnia trial? 

Can’t imagine Ghirga or Vedova want to stick around (especially as Ghirga publicly denied Knox’s ‘‘assault’’ claims).  And this isn’t like the murder trial/appeals where Knox can simply accuse Rudy Guede (or someone else).  It was her on the stand in 2009, her book, her interviews….

Sollecito tried a similar stunt (blaming his book on Gumbel).  Whether or not it’s true is a bit irrelevant, as he went on TV to make the same claims.

If AK and or RS are found guilty, then what?

Posted by Chimera on 04/21/15 at 03:58 AM | #


There are two possible outcomes in the new calunnia trial…

1. If the court finds her guilty, does it fit “nicely” with the recent supreme court judgment? I would be tempted to presume that she has told lots of lies…

2. If the court finds are not guilty, how does that reflect on the judiciary? It will appear that the judges are looking at evidences piecemeal, instead of taking the totality.

In either case, it is not going to look consistent with the most recent judgment (but I wait for their written report). There will be murmurs even within the judges…

Posted by chami on 04/21/15 at 05:31 AM | #
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